In honor of Russian New Year's (the week between New Year's and Orthodox Christmas), we're having an Eastern European theme week! Day 4 of Eastern European week brings us the wedding that inspired the whole theme — Xenia & Rinat's amazing wedding! -Becca

The offbeat bride: Xenia, teacher/tutor

Her offbeat partner: Rinat, Body Modification Artist

Location & date of wedding: Wedding Hall and Cafe Elf, Russia — February 19, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding outfits and hairdos are definitely very offbeat for Russia.

I braided my hair a couple of days before the wedding as it takes an entire day to have it done. I normally have my hair braided in various colors.

The black and white color palette was picked specifically for the wedding.

Lira, the makeup artist, really liked the idea of smoky eyes for the bride. (It is really not that common for Russian brides to go with smokey eyes). She thought that the groom had to use some eye liner on his eyes as well. The fake eyelashes were ordered online ahead of time.

After the ceremony, we went to Prospect, a nightclub in Ufa. The images with balloons and mirrors were taken there, on stripper stages and in private booths.

We tried to take a few photos outside in the city's historic center, but it was very cold and windy, so we sought refuge at McDonald's next to the Opera House. We ate and fooled around for the camera there, and the kids eating there kept asking their parents if we were actors from the theatre next door. Some patrons actually congratulated us on our wedding. 🙂

Afterwards, we all left for the reception, which was held at Cafe Elf, and we had even more fun there.

Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was held at a Wedding Hall. (Church weddings are not recognized by the Russian state as official weddings).

Everything about our ceremony was very traditional and in accordance to Russian customs. The cool thing was that the lady officiating the marriage commented that we were the sweetest couple she had met.

We arrived at the Wedding Hall with only our family and closest friends present. Then we exchanged vows and rings and got our internal passports stamped. (Russians have internal passports that get stamped when they get married).

Rinat carried me out of the Hall to be greeted by our guests showering us with rose petals. We then had a champagne toast and left to take photos before the reception.

Our biggest challenge: We started planning our wedding in January 2010. Traditionally, the entire country is off for most of the month of January observing Christmas holidays. Having just one month to plan, it was very difficult to find and buy our outfits and accessories when most of the vendors were closed for the holidays.

My favorite moment: The moment when we exchanged our wedding rings was definitely the most magical experience of the entire wedding.

My funniest moment: Our visit to McDonald's was definitely the funniest experience of the day. It was really amusing to see people react to us and our outfits.

My advice for offbeat brides: Do what you two want and disregard other's opinions. People are too eager to doubt your choices, so it is important to believe in your vision.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Make your wedding an experience that is fun and will last forever, even if it means extra expense.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
We had our outfits custom-made in a tailor shop, and some elements were ordered from a goth store.

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

Click on the picture below or head over to the photographer's blog to see more photos!

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Comments on Xenia & Rinat’s gothic, winter, Russian wedding

  1. Gorgeous couple! And the McDonald’s picture, his cheesy grin, too cute!! I just adore Russian weddings!

  2. Beautiful. I wish I was having a winter wedding in order to wear those boots.

  3. I’ve been waiting for these photos since I saw the first one posted. Congratulations! This is fantastic!

  4. Darling,
    Your hair is simply amazing!
    And I love the photos at the club (?) with the pool table. My beau and I love 8 ball so those pictures really delighted me.

  5. Awwwh. You guys are so cute, I love the false eyelashes (I thought they were winged eyeliner in the first few picture), and those boots? Epic.

  6. Beautiful wedding!! Very original indeed! I just loved how the weather fit with the wedding 🙂

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